Our mission is to provide advocacy and support to abused, abandoned or neglected children in the Guardian ad Litem Program of
Pinellas and Pasco Counties.

We envision a world where every child has a safe and permanent home with the opportunity to thrive.
September 2018
From the Executive Director
Dear Guardian Volunteers and Supporters,
 
The new school year always feels like a fresh start to me-you know fall and cooler temps are on their way, the holidays will be here before we know it, and we launch new programs and resources for the GALs we support and the children we serve. This summer we have been hard at work developing a new and improved children’s needs request process and we are working to launch surveys for the teens you serve as well as a lending library in each office. (If you have books, movies, games or other ideas you would like to see included, please email AmyF@galf6.org .) We look forward to launching these resources supported by the Foundation for a Healthy St. Pete in the coming months.

I know many of us are experiencing a host of emotions following last week’s news of the tragic death of Jordan Belliveau. As a reminder, volunteers are eligible for employee assistance through the state. If you need a resource or would like to speak to a counselor confidentially, call 1-844-208-7067 or visit: https://sofeap.helloe4.com/?partID=sof . Small groups across Tampa Bay are meeting to discuss issues and develop an advocacy platform to present to our state representatives this spring when session begins. We will keep you posted of any outcomes and if you’d like to participate in any advocacy efforts, please email AmyF@galf6.org .

While the outcome of Jordan’s case was not the outcome anyone wanted, we know Guardians are saving and changing children’s lives every day in countless ways. We want to assure you that you are not alone in this work and the Foundation supports you. Here is a short list of the ways we can help and new programs and funds launch regularly. Please reach out if you have ideas or a need that can assist you in your work with our children.

I hope you will join us on Saturday, October 13 th for our SuperHero 5K in Safety Harbor. A number of first responders will be joining us and walking in memory of Jordan. We hope to see you there!

Amy E. Foster
GALs, we know school has only just begun, but we are already planning for the holiday season! We are now accepting applications for holiday assistance for children in the Guardian ad Litem Program.
  
 The Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay provides assistance during the holiday season in two ways: gift cards for turkeys and hams at Thanksgiving and gifts or other needed items for the neediest families in December.
 
You can find the forms to sign up your GAL child/ren for a Thanksgiving Turkey/Ham Giftcard or Holiday gifts here . Please make sure to choose the correct County when you fill out the Holiday Form as that will help to ensure we have enough donors for each County.
 
IMPORTANT NOTES:
  • If your case includes multiple children, even if they are living together, please complete the holiday form for each child.
  • The Thanksgiving gift card form should be filled out one per placement, not per child. Please note, we do not provide Thanksgiving gift cards for children in group homes.
  • Only children living in Pinellas or Pasco are eligible.
  • Please do not nominate children who's cases are about to close, transfer, etc. 
  • Only the person VISITING the child should submit the child.
 
GALs can also help make the holidays bright by dropping off new toys at any office! 
Some ideas of popular requests can be found on our wishlist here:  http://amzn.to/2tbM8pM
UPCOMING EVENTS
SuperHero 5K, Walk & Stroller Roll
Saturday, October 13, 8:30 AM
Safety Harbor Waterfront
Every child needs a hero, but abused children need SuperHeroes. Make a difference in the life of an abused or neglected child today by participating in the 4th Annual SuperHero 5K, Walk & Stroller Roll. GAL assigned children are free using code GALKID by 9/14 and GALs get 50% off registration using code GAL.  
Register to run or walk  here !
View our sponsorship packet here or register to volunteer the day of the event! Thank you to our Sponsors!! For a list of the companies that support us, see below!
1st Annual All-American Charity Golf Tournament
Saturday, September 15, 11 AM
The Groves: 7924 Melogold Circle, Land O Lakes
Please join the Pasco Federated Republican Women's Club & Republican Club of Central Pasco for their 1st Annual All-American Charity Golf Tournament in support of Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay. For more information .
Belle of the Ball
Saturdays, September 22,
October 6 and 20, 10 AM - 2 PM
1210 Holt Avenue, Clearwater
Homecoming is almost upon us! Belle of the Ball ensures that all girls have something to wear. Click here for more information. If your teen has a need for homecoming that is not met, Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay may be able to help through our Children's Needs Request Process -- but please don't wait until the last minute! Click here for the Children's Needs Form and instructions.

Mad Hatter's Tea Party
Saturday, September 30, 2 PM
St. Petersburg Coliseum: 535 4th Ave. N., St. Petersburg
Kiwanis Sunshine City hosts the annual Mad Hatter's Tea Party to provide an afternoon of fun activities. Please only register if you are sure you can attend. This is a first come, first served event and registration is required by September 17th. Register here .

Across the Bay Volunteer Conference
Tuesday, October 2,
10 AM - 3:30 PM
Suncoast Hospice: 5771 Roosevelt Blvd., Clearwater
Join us for the Annual Across the Bay Volunteer Conference. This all day training, sponsored by Sunshine Health, will host volunteers from Hillsborough, Pasco & Pinellas and focus on topics that every GAL volunteer needs to know! Lunch, snacks and in-service credit will be provided. Register here!
Know Your Rights Teen Booklet Launch
Saturday, October 27,
10 AM - 1 PM
1700 N. Tampa St., Tampa
Join Child Advocates of Stetson Law in unveiling Florida's first comprehensive legal rights guide for teens in foster care. This event will feature a panel of child welfare attorneys discussing how to better protect teens' legal rights. The panel will be moderated by Judge Irene Sullivan, a champion for the legal rights of children. GALS will receive in-service hours for this event. Breakfast will be provided. Please RSVP here by October 14th.
Yuletide Skies
Saturday, November 17, 10:30 AM
St. Petersburg College Planetarium: 6605 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg
Dr. Craig Joseph will host the "Yuletide Skies" show for us! The planetarium will be decorated for the holiday season and you will be taken back in time 2000 years to see the astronomical events that may have inspired the Biblical account of the “Christmas Star." This is for children 5+.
Register here .
RESOURCES
Foundation for Sustainable Families
The Foundation for Sustainable Families is excited to present two upcoming seminars:
"Adverse Childhood Experience and Protective Factors: Creating Trauma Sensitive Schools and Communities" This half day seminar presents information on Adverse Childhood Experiences, barriers and protective factors, and self-care for professionals. This event will be held on Fri, Sept. 14th from 9:00am - 1:00pm Registration and information here.

"LGBTQ+ Community and Family Competencies Clinic" Better understand the issues, including mental health prevalence, surrounding transgender, gay/lesbian, gender non-conforming and non-binary youth. This event will be held on Fri, Sept. 21st from 9:00am - 3:00pm. Registration and information here.

Educational Advocacy Webinars with Dr. Kelly
The Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program is hosting a series of Webinars on educational advocacy with Dr. Katie Kelly on the third Wednesday of the month in September and October and the 4th Wednesday of the month in November. The first webinar, "The IEP Refresh" will be held on September 19th from 12pm - 1pm EST. Register here.

Early Learning Connection
ELC has a new portal where caregivers can schedule an appointment. If you know of a caregiver that needs help please share this link with them: https://booknow.appointment-plus.com/yccvl4hv/

Foster Youth Membership
YMCA of the Suncoast
YMCA of the Suncoast welcomes all foster care youth, teen and young adults to free access and to be a part of their Y family at all locations in Pinellas and Pasco Counties. Call George Garcia at (727) 461-YMCA or email ggarcia@ymcasuncoast.org or visit their website here.
Congratulations to our Teen Writing Contest Winners!
Teens in the Guardian ad Litem Program were invited to submit a story, poem or essay that addressed the topic of “A Person Who Has Helped You and Discuss How S/He Made a Positive Difference in Your Life.” The top winners received a $250 gift card and honorable mention winners received a $100 gift card!
 
Join us in congratulating our Writing Contest Winners: 

Amiracle S, Ashley S, Beverly J, Christine S, Danielle K, Hannah L, Hayley W, Kristin L, Madison L. Phillip T. and Selena A!  
Honorable Mentions went to Matthew L and Mimi M. 
 
Thank you to GAL Norman Bungard for sponsoring this contest and to Norman Bungard, Sheldon Schwartz, BJ Hughes, Fran Abilock, Carol Allen and Norma Stallions for serving as our contest readers! We are grateful for your service.
We are still looking for donations for our holiday toy workshops in both Pasco County and Pinellas County. For more information or to get a wish list of popular items, please contact Tawnee Walling .
CHAMPIONS FOR OUR CHILDREN
Thank you to Allstate volunteer, Jason Kurrack for being a positive force for change in our community. Jason gave his time and enabled us to receive an Allstate Foundation Helping Hands Grant.  The Allstate Foundation supports the causes that Allstate agency owners, financial specialists and employees care about most by providing Helping Hands Grants to nonprofits where they volunteer their time to bring out the good in their communities.
THANK YOU TO OUR SUPERHERO 5K SPONSORS

Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay | 727.464.6528 | Website
14250 49th St, Suite 4000 Clearwater, FL 33712
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